As big international brands continue to run around monopolizing the industry and gobbling up small craft breweries, it's becoming harder and harder to figure out who is truly independent and not a corporate brewery zombie in disguise. From seizing massive allocations of hops to buying up and consolidating distribution channels, these big beer brands play dirty and they don't plan on slowing down.
It matters who owns the beer you drink. There is a complete loss of passion, transparency and quality when the people running the show don't have ownership. Corporate beer makes cost savings and efficiencies priority #1 and with that, often comes a complete sacrifice of standards, company culture, heritage and loyalty. Corpo companies also have mucho power, meaning they can manipulate the market at the drop of a dime, all in favor of their own brands and to push out hard working independent breweries like us.
Sure at the end of the day we all just want great tasting beer, but how about knowing what's in your beer, who made it and what does that business believe in. When you support an independent brewery you're not only giving a happy middle finger to the big guys and their backwards ethos, but you're supporting a small business. And to support a small business means you believe in the livelihood of your community and support the creation of meaningful jobs.
"Community above corporation, people ahead of profit, and beer before the bottom line," – Bob Pease, president and CEO of the Brewers Association
So how do you spot a corporate brewery zombie?
The Brewers Association hopes to make it a little easier for you to tell the difference with the launch of their Seek the Seal campaign. An identifiable seal that states "Independent Craft" that can be found anywhere from on the front door of your favorite establishments to the packaging in which your beer comes in. When you see the seal, it signals “That’s Independence You’re Tasting”.
Now, we understand that not everyone cares, and that's ok. All this does is allow the customer to understand what it means to be independent and with that knowledge, they can make an informed decision on what they're drinking and who they support.
MadeWest is proud to be independently owned and fueled by a team of dedicated employees, a supportive community and amazing customers.
Keep an eye out for the Independent Craft Seal on our cans in the near future (we just updated our core lineup) and when you see it out in the wild, snap a photo and tag both @madewestbeer and #seektheseal.